Mobility and transport

Relationships between speed enforcement and new technologies

The opinions expressed in the studies are those of the consultant and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission.

Relationships between speed enforcement and new technologies

The (near) future will bring new technologies that may affect speed enforcement operations, such as black box technologies, Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) or Electronic Vehicle Identification [24]. The questions is how these new technologies relate to the more conventional ways of speed support and control, such as changes to road environment and police enforcement. According to Wegman and Goldenbeld [67] there are three possible, non-exclusive, relationships:

  • New technologies co-exist with conventional measures. While cars are increasingly being equipped with new technologies, police checks of speeding may continue or even intensify.
  • New technologies are integrated in existing measures and make them more efficient. For example, enforcement may increasingly use information from EVI and as such support enforcement operations.
  • New technologies do something existing measures cannot do and will tend to replace conventional methods. For example, when a car is equipped with a black box that monitors driving speed, speed enforcement can be done at all times and places.

Zaidel [72] sketches a Utopian view in which speed enforcement by the police is largely replaced by speed enforcement based on technology. According to Zaidel, this could be realised if:

  • Speed compliance is associated with the vehicle rather than a driver
  • In-vehicle devices and communication technology monitor vehicle speed at all times and keep a record of distance travelled while speeding
  • Vehicles owners are given redeemable credits for distance travelled at requested speed and are surcharged for distance travelled while speeding
  • Companies and fleet owners are evaluated by authorities with respect to the aggregated speeding performance of their vehicles; and
  • A marketing mechanism is created whereby non-speeding generates direct and indirect benefits to vehicle owners as well as to businesses.

The advantages of this system of speed control, as stated by Zaidel, are that it is self-enforcing, fair, self sustainable, provides immediate feedback and reduces the need for conventional speed control. However, there may be some doubt as to whether the general public would welcome such a system.